As we get closer to the Kids Summer Camp time of year, I know some of you are still on the fence about committing to teaching your very own summer camp for kids this summer. Let me just say, there is still time to get a camp together and start promoting a full and or half day program to teach kids how to sew.
I thought maybe if I go into some detail about what a day in the life of one of our typical summer camp days looks like, it might be helpful!
So our summer camp is broken into two half day sessions, morning and afternoon. For most the younger kids sessions (up to about age 12) we will typically complete one project within a 3 hour half-day session. Kids can choose to attend for either a morning or afternoon three hour session, or they are able to bring their own lunch and stay for a full day session from 9am – 4pm.
In our camp, you must sign up for a full week of classes starting on Monday and ending on Friday. Because of this, day to day schedule can vary slightly based on their sewing capabilities growing each day. But for the most part, a typical day of M Avery Designs Designs sewing summer camp looks like this:
8am: Instructors show up and open up the studio. We do not offer before care because we utilize this time before our actual day of camp starts for prep work. So therefore the door to the studio will typically stay closed until about 10 minutes before the class is to start at 9am, so we are not distracted by early arriving parents & kids. Once the instructors for that day’s camp arrives (for our studio it’s usually 2-3 people) they will get started right away working on prep for that day’s sewing project.
Besides prep for that days sewing project, this is the time we’ll get out all our hand embroidery supplies and tools. Hand embroidery is usually our activity of choice for when we are waiting for everyone to show up for that day of camp. Handwork is not usually the project of the day, but often we’ll incorporate this hand work (done before we get into our normal class activity) into one of the main sewing projects for camp that week.
If this is the first day of camp for the week, we’ll also prep name tags for all the students and review the accounting to see if anyone has to pay a balance when they get dropped off.
8:45am: Typically this is the time we open our doors to our students. We try to greet everyone by name and a smile and make everyone feel super comfortable, especially if this is a Monday and the first day all are attending.
When everyone arrives, they’ll get a name tag, as well as a prepped embroidery hoop (fabric already loaded). They’ll also get a large embroidery needle and embroidery thread. As people arrive we’ll teach them how to thread their needles and help everyone tie the knots at the end so they can get started on some practice embroidery. Usually we’ll start with kids initials so they can practice the running stitch and just get the hang of it. As the week progresses we’ll start using embroidery templates to make some more intricate designs.
This usually goes until everyone arrives, usually around 9:15am.
9:15am: This is the time we usually start out actual sewing lesson for the day. Depending on the day, we’ll review safety rules around using a sewing machine and rules to follow while in the sewing studio. Monday’s this can take up to 1 hour, just making sure that everyone knows all of the rules of the studio, as well as how to competently use the sewing machine. Even if kids are seasoned sewists, they’re going to go through this segment of the class each and every first day of class because it’s just a great review for anyone and everyone.
10:30am: At this time we usually break for our mid-morning BYO snack time. This is a great time for everyone to take a break and get some food in their bellies. This break also allows our instructors a chance to see where the students are in the project and what it will take to finish it up before the session ends at 12pm. We don’t always finish every project in a half day session, but we do try our best.
11:45am: As kids start to finish the project for that session, they are encouraged to continue working on their embroidery project they started earlier that morning. It’s a great way to have a back pocket project ready to roll at all times.
11:50pm: No matter how close we are to finishing the project, this is about the time that we start to pick up the studio and put things away to close up the morning session of camp. All the tools are put away, we do a thorough sweeping of the studio and things are tidied up so that we can convert the studio into the lunch room.
12pm: This is the time that the morning session students are picked up and signed out by their parents and care givers if they are not staying for the full day session. The kids that are staying for the full day will pull out their packed lunches at this time and spend about the next 2o minutes eating.
12:30pm: Usually by this time, kids are finished eating and looking for what to do next. We have a strict rule in our studio that there is machine sewing that takes place between 12 & 1pm. So once kids who are staying for the full day are finished eating their lunch, we usually organize a game to play or encourage working on hand embroidery projects.
1pm: This is the time that the afternoon session students are dropped off. Since there are more than likely going to be new students arriving at the time, we repeat the safety and sewing instruction that we already did that morning. And yes, the morning students get to go through it again, but often we involve them in teaching it to the new students, this time around.
2:30pm: Again, this is the time we usually break for our mid-afternoon BYO snack time. This is another great time for everyone to take a break and eat any remaining lunch that has not been eaten and just take a break for 15 minutes.
3:50pm: Once again, no matter how close we are to finishing the project, this is the time that we start to pick up the studio for the day. It’s time to put everything away to close up that day of camp. At this time all the tools are put away, we do a second thorough sweeping of the studio and all projects not finished are labeled so students can finish the following day. All the tools and supplies are tidied up so we can close the studio for the day.
4pm: All students are picked up and the instructors finish cleaning up the studio. At this time we usually review the project for the following day and if there is a lot of prep, we may start the prep for the following days project at this time.
SEW – That about sums it up. This is what a day in the life of a sewing camper looks like in Hoboken NJ.
If you also have a sewing summer camp, does this resemble what you’re day looks like?
If you don’t already have a camp but are thinking about starting one, I hope this helped!
We also have a brand new online course “Teach your First Kids Sewing Camp” that might help you even further.